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Obama talks economy at AcerlorMittal

James W. Wade III | 11/20/2013, 2:01 p.m.
The president stood firm with his battle with Congress about health care and told everyone they have had some issues. ...
President Barack Obama in Cleveland at the ArcelorMittal Steel Plant talking about the economy. Photo by James W. Wade III

Last week, President Barack Obama made a visit to Cleveland to show support for a business that has made it through rough times.

The president came to ArcelorMittal to deliver remarks on the economy. He had not been in Cleveland since last year, during his re-election campaign.

Obama landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport with U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who represents a portion of Cleveland, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Waiting on the Tarmac were Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio.

“It is good to be back in Cleveland. The last time I was here was about a year ago, in the final days of the campaign. I know how much you miss hearing how I approve this message every night on your TV,” said Obama.

The president talked about the economic conditions just a few years ago.

“The economy was in free fall, the auto industry on the brink of collapse, and that meant demand for steel had dried up. The blast furnaces went quiet. About 1,200 steelworkers punched out for what might have been the last time. And that all came at the end of a decade when the middle class was already working harder and harder just to get by and nearly one in three American manufacturing jobs had vanished -- a lot of them going overseas. That could have devastated this community for good,” he said.

Many workers were screaming and whistling because they knew what it was like a few years ago.

“I am glad to see our plant thriving and making money but, most of all, I am glad we all have jobs,” said AcelorMittal employee Lawrence Weeden Jr.

The president also shared some knowledge about the business economy. “Over the last 44 months, our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs. Last month, another 200,000 Americans went back to work. And a lot of those jobs are in manufacturing. So now we’ve got more work to do to get those engines of the economy churning even faster. But because we’ve been willing to do some hard things, not just kick the can down the road, factories are reopening their doors, businesses are hiring new workers, companies that were shipping jobs overseas are starting to talk about bringing those jobs back to America. We’re starting to see that,” he shared.

He continued to talk about things involving the energy situation. Between more clean energy, less wasted energy, the carbon pollution that’s helping to warm the planet and the numbers are actually going down.

“And that’s good news for anybody who cares about leaving a planet to our kids that is as beautiful as the one we got from our parents and our grandparents. So it’s a win-win. Our economy keeps growing, creating new jobs, which means that strengthening our energy security and increasing energy efficiency doesn’t have to be a choice between the environment and the economy we can do both,” Obama added.

The president stood firm with his battle with Congress about health care and told everyone they have had some issues. “We always knew this was going to be hard. There’s a reason why folks had tried to do it for 100 years and hadn’t done it. And it’s complicated. There are a lot of players involved. The status quo is entrenched. And so, yes, there’s no question the rollout on the Affordable Care Act was much tougher than we expected. But I want everybody here to understand, I am going to see this through. I want millions of Americans to make sure that they’re not going broke when they get sick and they can go to a doctor when their kids get sick. And we’re not apologizing for that,” President Obama stated.

Ending his speech, the President was confident in his pledge by the look on his face and wanted to make sure everyone knew he was fighting for the better good of everyone. “And as long as I have the honor of being your President, I’m going to be waking up every single day thinking about how I can keep on helping folks like the ones who work in this plant.”